Literary Landmark: Dr Williams’s Library Opposite Virginia Woolf’s Former Home Hits the Market

Dr Williams Library

For the first time in 130 years, two exceptional properties located in the historic heart of Bloomsbury, London, have been put up for sale by Knight Frank‘s Education & Charities team. Nestled in the iconic Gordon Square, renowned for its illustrious intellectual and artistic inhabitants, these properties share their history with the celebrated Bloomsbury Group, which included the likes of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell, and John Maynard Keynes.

Dr Williams’s Library, located at 14-15 Gordon Square, and The Henry Morley Building, sited at the rear, are now on the market, with offers in excess of £15.5 million being guided for both. These properties are steeped in literary, artistic, and intellectual history, embodying the essence of Bloomsbury.

Dr Williams Library

Embodying a majestic Tudor style, the Grade II listed Dr Williams’s Library boasts an intricate façade featuring octagonal turrets with stone finials, spanning the full height of the building. The library extends over 27,616 sq ft across five floors, a basement, and a raised ground floor. The stunning architecture is accentuated by high ceilings, stained glass windows, and spacious rooms offering flexibility for both residential and commercial use. Given its potential for alternative uses or redevelopment, this property represents a unique opportunity in the real estate market.

Dr Williams’s Library is renowned for its expansive collection, focusing on theology, philosophy, religion, history, and literature. The library’s history is just as noteworthy. Dr Daniel Williams, a prominent nonconformist minister, established it upon his death in 1716, bequeathing his collection as a public resource for nonconformist ministers, tutors, and students in London. The library is being rehoused, leaving the grand building vacant and ready for a new era.

Dr Williams Library

The Henry Morley Building, situated behind the library, provides approximately 5,369 sq ft of educational space for University College London (UCL). This freehold property is an attractive investment, generating income through its long-term lease.

Gordon Square and the broader Bloomsbury area enjoy a central London location, noted for their literary and academic heritage. With easy access to the British Museum, Fitzrovia’s restaurants and cafes, King’s Cross offerings, and various underground stations, these properties are ideally situated for city living.

Emma Cleugh, Head of the Education & Charities team at Knight Frank, shared her excitement about the sale, noting the rarity of this opportunity for potential owners, investors, or developers. She emphasized the property’s appeal to university and educational entities due to its historical significance and location.

As a spokesperson for the Dr William’s Trust put it, moving on from such a remarkable building is challenging but necessary for the future of the Trust. In doing so, they aim to actively promote better access to, and care for, their nationally significant collections.

This sale represents an exciting opportunity to own a slice of Bloomsbury’s literary history, offering the potential to inject new life into these remarkable properties while honouring their significant past.

Property London

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